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Gimbal overload during flight

jasperpants

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Jun 12, 2017
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Got a warning today while flying the Spark, "Gimbal overload".

I brought her back down and the camera was pointed down at about a 45' angle.

I turned her off and back on, the warning went away but the camera would not come back level.

I tried the adjustments in the app but no joy.

I turned it off again and lightly pressed on the camera. It didn't want to move. It would wiggle left and right but not up and down.

I tried again with slightly more pressure, and this was hardly anything. It moved but it felt like it was loosening up or overcoming grit or something fouling the mechanism.

It seemed fine and I took her up again for a few minutes. Worked ok but now I can see that this problem has existed since I got it. When flying if I pointed the camera down it would not come all the way back up, it would stick and then jump the last little bit(30-45') all of a sudden 10 seconds later.

I naively thought this was just it fighting with wind. This also explains why it has been losing tracking when I've tried some of the quick shots, it can't bloody move the gimbal!

I purchased through @Advexure and got the care program. Do I return it, contact DJI or something else?

Any advice greatly appreciated as I've got another week on vacation before I get back to the US.
 
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jimbug

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I would suspect you would need to return it to DJI for a warranty claim like this.
 

Nikon1

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I would contact Advexure, just to get their take on it or see if they have a suggestion or if they can make contact with DJI on your behalf.

They have been great with everything else - give them a chance.

And keep us updated, please!
 

jasperpants

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Ok, I'll start with Advexure and see how we go.

I was hoping it might have been an "Oh yeah, noob didn't you know you have to x,y,z" etc and it would be all good!

I'll keep you posted.
 
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jasperpants

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I've just reviewed the footage from the last flight and it's obvious now to see when the gimbal is playing up. I'll see if I can post it here.
 

jasperpants

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You'll see it bounces up and down a few times then snaps in to place and the video is so stable it actually looks like it's frozen!
 

DesertWindAero

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You'll see it bounces up and down a few times then snaps in to place and the video is so stable it actually looks like it's frozen!
Switch to decaf...
;)
 

jasperpants

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Spoke to DJI last night. They recommended refreshing the latest firmware on the Spark and then calibrating the IMU and compass.

Did that, and from some quick indoor testing the gimbal seems to be operating ok. I'll hopefully get an outdoor flight in the morning and post back again.

In the meantime, could someone do a quick test for me? Basically, hold the Spark while it's on(but not flying) and rotate it so that the camera points down, i.e. the front of the Spark goes up so much that the camera cannot compensate fully by rotating down, and let me know what happens when it maxes out?

Mine flicks back up. I think that's the desired behaviour but I want to be sure.

Thanks!
 

jasperpants

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Ok, that's great @Animal , thank you. Fingers crossed for the morning then.and @DesertWindAero I will stick with Decaf preflight!

I should have mentioned in my earlier post that DJI said to use the DJI Assistant PC/Mac application to do the firmware and not the iOS/Android app.
 

jimbug

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Spoke to DJI last night. They recommended refreshing the latest firmware on the Spark and then calibrating the IMU and compass.

Did that, and from some quick indoor testing the gimbal seems to be operating ok. I'll hopefully get an outdoor flight in the morning and post back again.

In the meantime, could someone do a quick test for me? Basically, hold the Spark while it's on(but not flying) and rotate it so that the camera points down, i.e. the front of the Spark goes up so much that the camera cannot compensate fully by rotating down, and let me know what happens when it maxes out?

Mine flicks back up. I think that's the desired behaviour but I want to be sure.

Thanks!
How do you "refresh the latest firmware"?
 

jasperpants

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@jimbug In the DJI Assistant application, at least on the MacOS one, when you have your spark attached there is a "Refresh" button next to the current firmware version installed on the Spark.
 

jasperpants

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In terms of an update to my gimbal issue, I've had an email interchange with @Advexure but now that's it's 4th of July weekend I expect they are crazy busy so it will be a few days before we get to the bottom of the issue.

I've refreshed my firmware a couple of times now, it did appear to be ok for a short while but during the first flight it stuck again.

More to follow and maybe a video showing how it sticks.
 

jasperpants

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Quick update(in case anyone is following this or having similar issues).

After shooting some video of the gimbal juddering and sticking while on the ground and sending it over to Advexure they recommended sending it in for repair to DJI. Between shipping and their analysis it took about 10 days before I heard anything. Their analysis was that it was a high impact that had caused the problem. They had assumed high impact based on marks on the rotor arms which I got from 3D printed prop guards. Word of advice, don't put anything on your Spark that didn't come from DJI!

After clearing that up they repaired it under warranty and I should have it back tomorrow.

I can't wait! It's been a long process and I'm looking forward to trying out the various modes(dronie etc) which wouldn't work properly before because the camera would stick and the Spark would lose tracking.
 

Glen e

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… Did you have a high impact , or are you saying that just adding the prop guards caused this?
 

jasperpants

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No high impact. Just tiny marks on the arms of the Spark from putting the prop guards on and off one time.
 

Glen e

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So anything you clip on the arms overloads the gimbal? That seems outrageous. However I don't doubt you, because I once put on a pair of landing gear that clip on the same way, and it's the only time I've got a gimbal overload. I wonder how the two are connected….
 

jasperpants

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@Glen e , sorry I probably was not clear. The prop guards did not cause the gimbal overload error. The gimbal was faulty. The prop guards left a mark on the arms that led DJI to believe it had suffered a high force impact.
 

Mikel Manitius

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I would take a can of compressed air and very carefully blow out all of the joints in the gimbal. Perhaps you got some dirt, sand, or other material in there.
 
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